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Mon 14 May 2007 01:35 PM

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StanChart launches Islamic brand

Standard Chartered launches Saadiq brand in the Middle East and first Islamic credit card globally.

Standard Chartered Bank has launched its new Islamic finance brand, Saadiq, in the Middle East, and simultaneously launched its first Islamic credit card globally.

Afaq Khan, CEO of Standard Chartered Islamic Banking, said: "Standard Chartered's global Islamic business has more than doubled since 2006, and continues to grow at a rapid pace. With the launch of our global Islamic banking brand, Saadiq, we aim to capitalise on all future worldwide growth in this emerging industry for the benefit of our customers and stakeholders alike."

The Saadiq Visa Gold credit card operates on a fixed-fee structure, under which customers pay an fixed monthly maintenance fee, rather than an interest fee, on any amount outstanding past its due date. It will be available only in the UAE at first, before being rolled out across the rest of the group's network in the coming months.

Owen Belman, head of consumer banking, Standard Chartered UAE and Oman, said: "Internationally recognised, Shariah compliant and with an annual fee comparable to that of a conventional credit card, the Saadiq Gold credit card offers customers complete peace of mind. It offers them true flexibility and freedom to access interest-free credit card services wherever they are in the world."

The card was developed to meet standards of Shariah compliance in the Middle East, which tend to be tougher than those in the Far East.

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